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ADRIATIC SEA - Cmdr. Jeffrey "Creature" Creighan relieved Cmdr. Jason "Fisheye" Papadopoulos as commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103. The change of command ceremony took place in the skies above the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), January 15th, 2023, in the Adriatic Sea.
Capt. Thomas Bodine, commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, presided.
“Fisheye is a tremendous leader and aviator. His vision and direction led VFA-103 through the toughest moments of deployment, and I know his positive influence will continue long after he leaves. I cannot thank him enough for his tremendous professionalism dedication to duty,” said Bodine. “I have no doubt Cmdr. Creighan will build upon Fisheye’s great work, making the Jolly Rogers, Team Freedom, and the entire strike group, a stronger, more lethal fighting force”.
Papadopoulos, from Austin, Texas, and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, assumed command of VFA-103 as its 69th commanding officer in September 2021. He led the Jolly Rogers into their 2022 deployment with CVW-7, aboard the USS George H. W. Bush.
“It has been an honor to serve as commanding officer of the Jolly Rogers,” said Papadopoulos. “I have worked with the best during this tour. I will miss operating with the incredibly motivated sailors and aircrew of Fighting 103. The talent and professional effort that is shown every single day in this squadron is eye-watering”.
During Papadopoulos tenure, the squadron completed a vigorous work up cycle in preparation for its 2022-2023 deployment. In total they accumulated 3,552 total flight hours, 700 carrier landings, 2,103 sorties, 108,550 pounds of ordnance expended, as well as 22+ years and 100,000+ Class-A mishap free flight hours under his leadership.
Creighan, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, lauded Papadopoulos’ leadership and addressed the squadron about the future of the Jolly Rogers.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure serving as the executive officer of the Jolly Rogers under the leadership of Skipper “Fisheye” Papadopoulos,” said Creighan. “I am excited to take command of such a capable team. We look forward to executing our operational deployment and working to support as well as strengthen our NATO allies.”
George H.W. Bush is the flagship of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, George H.W. Bush CSG (GHWBCSG). CSG-10 is comprised of George H.W. Bush, CVW-7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Information Warfare Commander, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).
The ships of DESRON 26 within CSG-10 are the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119).
The squadrons of CVW-7 embarked aboard George H.W. Bush are the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86, the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103, the “Knighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.
CSG- 10, GHWBCSG, is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests.